Police log for 1/28

January 28, 2003

Md. driver crashes through guardrail, lands on I-81 ramp

A Frederick, Md., man was seriously injured Monday afternoon when the U-Haul truck he was driving crashed through the bridge guardrails on eastbound Interstate 70 at Hagerstown at 12:10 p.m. and dropped headfirst onto the I-81 access ramp below, Maryland State Police said.

John Anthony Schmitt, 39, of 7213 Black Creek Lane, was taken to Washington County Hospital by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter. He later was flown on to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was in serious condition Monday night.

Trooper 1st Class Wayne Smith said Schmitt was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, driving a motor vehicle while consuming alcohol, negligent driving and failure to drive in a single lane.

Smith said Schmitt was on the ramp running parallel to I-70 that accesses both directions of I-81 when the truck struck the guardrails on the right, crossed over the ramp lane and crashed through the bridge rail, landing on its side on the road below.


The U-Haul came to rest in front of a minivan occupied by a man and his 3-year-old child who were traveling on the ramp to southbound I-81. The minivan was able to avoid hitting the U-Haul, Smith said.

FREDERICK - Police arrested two men for having marijuana in their home Monday night after someone called to say one of the men had harassed her by showing her a gun.

After receiving the call, the Frederick Police Department officers visited the home of Jose Guillermo Zelaya, 24, and Javier Zelaya, 23, of the 1500 block of Cedar Crest Lane. Police asked to search the home because of the gun complaint.

Officers did not find the weapon, but they did find a "large quantity" of marijuana, according to a release.

Police charged the Zelayas with drug possession and drug possession with intent to distribute. The two men were awaiting a bond hearing this morning and were being held at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.

Man charged with failing to register as a sex offender

A convicted child sex offender who has been living in the Hagerstown area for six years without registering with the local authorities has been served with a criminal summons for that offense, police said.

Kim Jackson Ross, 49, of 1306 Potomac Ave., Apt. 2A, was detained at the Washington County Detention Center on $2,000 bond on a charge of failure to obey a rental agreement.

When deputies did a routine records check on Ross, it was determined he registered as a child sex offender with the Pennsylvania State Police in 1996 when residing in Butler, Pa., according to Sgt. Art Overcash of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Under Maryland law, a registered sex offender must notify police in the area where residing. The penalty for not doing so is up to three years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

A trial date has been set for April 3, Overcash said.

Thieves cut hole in roof, steal four TVs from local store

Thieves who cut a hole in the roof of a local appliance store over the weekend and hauled four 200-pound television sets through the opening were being sought by Hagerstown City Police Monday.

The high-definition plasma television sets taken from Circuit City Appliance and Electronics at 17766 Garland Groh Blvd., late Sunday or early Monday are valued at more than $16,000, Lt. Rick Johnson said.

The initial investigation revealed the breaking and entering occurred between 6:42 p.m. Sunday and 7:05 a.m. Monday.

"The method was different from another recent large theft we investigated where a hole was cut in the roof," Johnson said, referring to a break-in and theft of more than $100,000 in merchandise from Staples in the Valley Plaza.

In the earlier incident, phone and alarm wires were cut. Johnson said that wasn't the case in the Circuit City incident.

Johnson asked that anyone with information about the theft or the location of the stolen televisions call police at 301-790-3700.

Fires cause heavy damage to two Frederick County homes

FREDERICK, Md. - Damage was high in two weekend house fires in Frederick County, Maryland State Fire Marshal's investigators said Monday.

A fire was reported Saturday at 8 p.m. at a home at 11814 Green Valley Road in Union Bridge, Md. The home was heavily damaged in the bedroom fire, the cause of which was under investigation. Damage was estimated at $100,000, according to Investigator T.S. Warner.

On Friday afternoon, a chimney fire at 4501 Bill Moxley Road in Mt. Airy, Md., caused $70,000 in damage, Warner said.

In that 2:53 p.m. blaze, two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor burns to the neck.

Police make 17 alcohol-related arrests over 3-day weekend

Maryland State Police in Hagerstown and Washington County Sheriff's deputies made 17 alcohol-related arrests during a saturation patrol conducted over the three-day Super Bowl weekend, state police Sgt. Rick Narron said Monday.

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